Governor Bill Richardson Delivers Democratic Radio
As Democrats mobilize voters and discuss a new direction for our country during more than 800 nationwide "Democratic Reunion" events tomorrow, Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, offers a new direction for America's foreign policy in the
Democratic Radio Address. Governor Richardson outlines Democrats' bold new vision for real security here at home and overseas that includes achieving
energy independence, re-building alliances, and a real plan for Iraq. From their commitment to a failed strategy in Iraq to their lack of engagement in the Middle East and North Korea, the Bush Administration's policies have made America less safe.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
Jesse Salomon is running for WA State Senate, 42nd Legislative District.
I just got this update from Jesse:
Checking in from the campaign trail. Things are going well and we're picking up momentum. We've doorbelled the district once (7,000) and are going back a second time.
People across Whatcom County are excited about our meaningful message. As your Senator, I will work to improve the Growth Management Act so it does better at controlling growth and preventing sprawl. I am absolutely committed to ensuring clean air and water, and preserving open space and agricultural lands. I will find workable ways to make health care more accessible and affordable. We need a first class education system so our graduates can compete for family wage jobs. We must investigate why gas prices are higher here, and also develop a local clean and renewable energy industry.
I do believe the Dems are poised to take over this year and we've picked up some great endorsements including: State Sen. Harriet Spanel, former State Senators Barney Goltz and Georgia Gardner, State Rep. Kelli Linville, Whatcom County Councilmember Seth Fleetwood, Bellingham City Councilmember Barbara Ryan, Washington State Labor Council, Washington Education Association, NAARAL.
We need volunteers to doorbell with us on the weekends and we need good spots for yardsigns. You can contact my campaign manager Ellen at (360) 820-1664. Our website is VoteJesse.com.
Posted by Jesse Salomon for State Senate
[NOTE: ] Jesse is running against Republican
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
the people of Israel are hostages to criminal regimes just like we are.....
I accuse you !
lundi 24 juillet 2006.
I, Tsilli Goldenberg, Israeli citizen
Accuse you - Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of Israel, Amir
Peretz, Minister of Defense, Dan Halutz Head of Staff Chief Commander of the Israeli Army, of committing this bestial barbaric slaughter in Lebanon.
I accuse you of committing Crimes against Humanity towards the Palestinian People.
I accuse you of deserting our soldiers, when their lives could be saved by negotiations, and I accuse you of starting an unjustified war in my name.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
July 23, 2006
Names And Faces At The DLC
DENVER, CO -- ** the It Boy of the DLC Conversation is 39-year old speaker of the Colorado House, Andrew Romanoff. Romanoff, who represents about 70,000 Denver residents, is a convention keynoter fresh off a demonstration of his formidable political skills. He helped broker a compromise between two intractable sides of the immigration debate, one led by ex-Clinton cabinet secretary Frederico Pena, and the other, led by irsacible former governor Dick Lamm. Romanoff positioned the compromise so finely that Colorado Gov. Bill Owens (R) had no choice but to capitulate, angering his own party. The upshot: Colorado now has some of the toughest immigration laws in the West; immigrants must prove their legal status before getting state benefits. ...
[ HOTLINE ON CALL ]
IRS may cut lawyers who audit the rich
By David Cay Johnston
The New York Times
The federal government is moving to eliminate the jobs of nearly half the lawyers at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) who audit tax returns of some of the wealthiest Americans, specifically those subject to gift and estate taxes when they transfer parts of their fortunes to their children and others.
The administration plans to cut the jobs of 157 of the agency's 345 estate-tax lawyers, plus 17 support personnel, within 70 days. Kevin Brown, an IRS deputy commissioner, confirmed the cuts. ...
... But six IRS estate-tax lawyers whose jobs are likely to be eliminated said the cuts were the latest moves at the IRS to shield people with political connections and complex tax-avoidance devices from thorough audits.
Sharyn Phillips, a veteran IRS estate-tax lawyer in Manhattan, called the cuts a "back-door way for the Bush administration to achieve what it cannot get from Congress, which is repeal of the estate tax." ...
... The six IRS tax lawyers, some of whom were willing to be named, said that clear evidence of fraud was pursued vigorously by the agency but that when audits showed the use of complicated schemes to understate the value of assets, the IRS had become increasingly reluctant to pursue cases.
The lawyers said the risk-analysis system the IRS used to evaluate whether to pursue such cases gave higher-level officials cover to not pursue tax cheats and emboldened the most aggressive tax advisers to prepare gift- and estate-tax returns that shortchanged the government.
Friday, July 21, 2006
...U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash. questioned the timing of his initial announcement of the North Puget Sound clinic. Nicholson offered his first comments on the clinic this month while campaigning with Republican Doug Roulstone, who is challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Lake Stevens.It seems the money for a new VA clinic isn't in this years budget. It's hard to figure how a clinic could open next year without money for it the budget. Could the announcement of a clinic opening next year be an empty campaign promise?
Murray also questioned whether politics played a role in the clinic's placement. Out of 25 new clinics planned by the VA, about 70 percent are being placed in Republican-controlled congressional districts.
"That has brought some questions to whether or not ... we are going to have politics become part of the VA process," she said. ... (source = B'ham Herald)
# # # #
Maybe you have to be a Republican to 'get it'. But I'm having trouble working out how Roulstone expects anybody to believe he'd be a force for change; even though he stumps with this sort of stuff:
... "We need to fix things, and we need to fix things right now," he told supporters at a fundraiser.Roulstone has had a lot of fund raisers with very special guests:
The budget deficit must be eliminated, the borders tightened and the nation protected from terrorism, he said.
With Gingrich, the rhetorical general of the 1994 Republican Revolution, looking on, Roulstone pledged to "fix our Congress" that's beset by political corruption, wasteful spending and debilitating partisanship. ...
(source = Everett Herald)
...For those keeping score, Vice President Dick Cheney stumped on behalf of the former U.S. Navy captain in April. This month, R. James Nicholson, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, visited. Former Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, now secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, appeared with Roulstone at a private event Thursday in Skagit County. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is scheduled to appear Saturday with Roulstone in Everett. ... (source = B'ham Herald)And, I found the "Business/Labor/Ideological Split In PAC Contributions" very interesting.
Larsen's breakdown is:Of a total $115500.00 in PAC money Roulstone received; only $6k came from non-politicians, the rest ($109599.00) was from Republican members of Congress.
Roulstone's breakdown is:
(source = opensecrets)
Between the 'big name' fund raisers and the RNCC controlled PAC money, it's hard to see Roulstone as anything but a puppet.
But again, maybe you have to be a Republican
Roulstone UpdateThe "way to many out-of-state Members of Congress" part of the "Endorsements" section reads the same as the PAC money section of Roulstones FEC report.
... Example: there is no "Issues" section at his webpage for an easy perusal of what Doug is running on, just a long letter in the "In Doug's Words" section. Also, the "Endorsements" section includes way to many out-of-state Members of Congress. Those are nice to have and all, but short of Members like Sen. McCain, I don't see the value of clogging up the website for the average voter, curious about endorsements from more local figures.
Roulstone hasn't 'addressed' any issues. The topics he's thrown out comments about have been veiled-racist red-meat for Republican
The Republican Party's rock-ribbed activists have pounded out a platform for
their incumbents and candidates to run on. ...
... It is one sentence, 55 words in all, near the end of the section on
immigration. It is where the authors declare their opposition to granting
U.S. citizenship to babies born in this country if their mother is here
The "original intent" of the 14th Amendment in the Constitution spoke to
freed ex-slaves "and in no way granted citizenship to the babies of illegal
aliens," states the plank offered up by an adherent from Whatcom County. ...
... "I see that plank in the platform as frustration," Roulstone said. To some
it "doesn't make sense" that a woman who has broken the law by entering the
U.S. illegally can see her newborn child receive citizenship, thus anchoring
the two in this country.
Roulstone deftly sidesteps whether he'll work to carry out the plank if
elected. ... (source = Everett Herald)
DOUG ROULSTONE (R) Candidate for Congress WA-2nd
Though saying he doesn't know what the best answer is to solve illegal immigration, he wants better security at the border. He called the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps "a program that makes sense,"... (source = roulstone4congress)
# # # #
Doug Roulstone was picked to run by inside-the-beltway Republicans and that's where virtually all his campaign money has come from. Roulstone's never run for any office and he has a slim resume on community activism, so he's got no base in the district. He registered to vote in Snohomish Co. in Dec. 1999.
Rick Larsen was born and raised in Arlington, Washington. He was a Snohomish County Councilman before running for Congress. Rick has a track record of working for the interests of the 2nd District. He voted against invading Iraq (before his '04 re-election with 60+ % of the vote). He's on the Armed Services Committee and is unquestionably pro-Troops and pro-Vets. Larsen's spent years working to get that VA clinic VA Sec. Nicholson (R) promised at Roulstones campaign event.
# # # #
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
On Sunday, citizensteve and I had a great opportunity to meet Gov. Bill Richardson. For the better part of an hour he met with some Washington state bloggers. He spoke briefly and then took questions and discussion.
Some of the things he said that i really liked were:
- - we should have a timetable for redeployment in Iraq. we should bring in the nations in the region (including Europe) and NATO and we should begin Peace Talks.
- - we should have real diplomacy (including direct talks with Iran and North Korea).
- - he thinks Mexico should work better for Mexican citizens. we should have a comprehensive immigration policy (he gave details on it).
- - renewable energy should be a high priority (including a new Appollo Project). we should have a real energy policy.
- - he thinks the blogs are important and bringing alot of people into the process who, in the past, weren't involved.
- - he deals with the DLC, but thinks of himself as a new progressive.
education is a high priority (demonstrated by valuing teachers in New Mexico by raising their salaries)
some things we ran out of time before getting to: peak oil, trade, women's issues, healthcare.
some things mentioned that i would have liked to explore more:
- fuel cells, and something i didn't understand that was compared to nascar in space.
oh and another thing i really liked about Gov. Richardson was when he said his intellectual curiousity was awakened at an early age and credited people who had a positive influence in his life. we could sure use some intellectual curiousity!!!
from his state of the state speech
oh and another thing i like about him is he was born in 1947 and....
Notoriety as UN Ambassador and International Diplomat: Richardson is a gifted and respected diplomat who was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995, 1997, 2000 and 2001. He has personal charm, grace, wit and a "knack for finding a warm spot in even the surliest of despots," per Time magazine in 1996. And he is an excellent listener.
it was a great time and i thank all the bloggers involved and Gov.Richardson for sharing the time.
audio of the meeting can be heard here....
Washington for Richardson
Tuesday, July 18, 2006POLITICS WATCHDOG
Taxpayers subsidize Cheney GOP rallies
Roulstone, McGavick's $15K covers fraction of trip's cost
THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
For two Republican congressional candidates, Vice President Dick Cheney's April visit to Washington state was a bargain.
For $15,000 apiece, the campaigns of Mike McGavick and Doug Roulstone received media exposure, rallied their supporters and raised money for their races challenging incumbent Democrats this fall.
But that bargain was balanced on the backs of both federal and state taxpayers.
... The airplane used by the vice president, the Boeing C-32, costs between $9,000 and $14,000 an hour to operate, according to estimates in a 2000 U.S. Government Accountability Office report. ...
... The costs also came down on state taxpayers. For the two campaign stops, a total of 15 Washington State Patrol troopers on motorcycles accompanied Cheney, said Sgt. Monica Hunter. She said the State Patrol avoided any overtime costs by adjusting troopers' schedules around the event but received no reimbursement.
The Sheriff's Offices of King, Snohomish and Spokane counties also provided motorcade security during Cheney's visit. ...
[snip] David Hoffman, Roulstone's campaign manager, said the event gave Cheney an opportunity to hear from voters.
"At any campaign event you hear concerns through protesters and supporters," Hoffman said. "He did have one official event for the troops at the Air Force base. That's important during a time of war."
[snip] Cheney's April visit to Washington state included a 17-minute speech to troops at Fairchild Air Force Base. The rest of the time was spent appearing with former U.S. Navy Capt. Doug Roulstone in Everett and former Safeco CEO Mike McGavick in Spokane.
Field notes and minutes
JULY MONTHLY MEMBERSHIP MEETING
8 July 2006 – 10:00am
– Machinists Union Hall – Vista Drive – Ferndale
*** Meeting 2nd Saturday of each month ***
ENDORSEMENT: Peggy Borgens
was on hand to present the issues
around the “NO on 933” Campaign,
and to ask for the 42nd LD Endorsement.
(Last month 42nd voted to support,
and to vote on endorse in July) Motion
was made and 2nd to endorse the “No
on I-933” Campaign, vote was
unanimous in favor – (42nd joins League
of Women Voters, Wa Wildlife Fed, State
Labor Council, etc.)
Monday, July 17, 2006
FUTURE EVENTS -- MARK YOUR CALENDARS -- SUMMER PICNICS
Friday, July 28th, 6 pm, LYNDEN-area Democrats Picnic, Berthusen Park, Lynden. Contact
July 29th, 1 pm, BLAINE-area Democrats Picnic, 3599 Loomis Trail Road, Blaine. Contact: RB Porter, 332-6799.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
And Newtie had some advice for Republican candidates and Bush; 'spout the ravings of the most rabid right-wing talkradio wacko's'.
"Gingrich said in the coming days he plans to speak out publicly, and to the Administration, about the need to recognize that America is in World War III.- And if Bush gave that war speech, that might be just fine for Democratic candidates. Bush might not be able to get the old saying right, but I think most American voters know that the saying goes: "Foul me once, shame on you. Foul me twice, shame on me."
He lists wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, this week's bomb attacks in India, North Korean nuclear threats, terrorist arrests and investigations in Florida, Canada and Britain, and violence in Israel and Lebanon as evidence of World War III. He said Bush needs to deliver a speech to Congress and "connect all the dots" for Americans."
Lets look at Newties list and connect his dots:
- Afghanistan - The Bush Administration invaded to capture Osama bin Laden and to overthrow the Taliban because they wouldn't hand him over. Osama trapped but then was allowed to escape. The Taliban have regrouped and are gaining ground in their war against the new Afghan government. A weak central government with the provinces ruled by the same brutal and corrupt warlords who's abuse of the Afghan people lead to the Talibans first rise to power of the Taliban.
- the dots - Republican Failure. To few resources committed to the invasion. To little effort put into stabilizing and rebuilding. A situation that's beginning to look like the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
- Iraq - The Bush Administration invaded because Saddam Hussien
had WMD- was connected to al Qaeda- tortured, raped and murdered Iraqi civilians- is a bad guy. conditions for the average Iraqi are worse now than before the invasion - Less clean water, less electricity, less fuel, less income, less personal security. Reconstruction moves at a snails pace because neither U.S. forces nor the new Iraqi government have control of the country. The Bush Administration's Defense Dept. has no coherent plan to end the insurgency. The new Iraqi government is an ineffectual puppet government. Although it's still unclear whether it's a U.S. or Iranian puppet.
- the dots - Republican Policy Failure. A rudderless occupation that has overstretched and demoralized American Military Forces. Iraq has become a training ground for al Qaeda and neo-Nazi's!
- this week's bomb attacks in India - In Mumbai, bombs tore through seven rush-hour trains, killing 181 people. ..."Indian authorities have not offered concrete evidence linking the bombings to any particular organization. But the local police and senior government officials have suggested involvement by Lashkar-e-Taiba, a banned Pakistan-based militant group active in the anti-Indian insurgency in Kashmir," ...(source) The conflict between India and Pakistans over Kashmir has been going on since 1947. Insurgency in Kashmir has been going on for the last twenty years.
- the dots - Republican Policy Failure. The Bush Regime gave Pakistan and India a pass on nuclear proliferation and tacit approval of the continued bloody stalemate over Kashmir.
- North Korean nuclear threats - When it was discovered that the North Koreans were violating the spirit of the deal negotiated by Clinton to freeze production of weapons graded nuclear material; first Bush dared Pyongyang to go into full scale production, then dared them to make atomic bombs and then dared them to test ballistic missiles to carry the A-bombs.
- the dots - Signs of Republican insanity. Bush's belligerent approach seems designed to provoke North Korea and wipe out all progress toward peace on the Korean Peninsula. The Republican Senate majority has done nothing to temper the Administrations childish belligerent posturing. Stupid, stupid, stupid!
- terrorist arrests and investigations in Florida, Canada and Britain -
- the dots - Republican questionable grip on reality. Homegrown terrorist cells are blowback from Republican fantacyland ideologically driven foreign policy. Barbaric behavior from the Bush Administration has grown anti-American terrorism around the world.
- violence in Israel and Lebanon - the latest flare-up in a conflict that's been going on for half a century.
- the dots - Bush/Republican failure. Bush Administration's neglect of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has led to complete breakdown and precipitated the current violence.
Newt wants to repackage Republican policy disasters as a grand-global-war for freedom. He sure does think the American people are dumb as dirt.
Friday, July 14, 2006
we must continue to be involved, inform ourselves, speak out always (Hong Tran will get my vote in the primary for U.S. Senator from Washington state. whoever is the "D" nomination in the general will get my support and vote.) we must wake up and activate as many Americans as we possibly can. this is no small task. too many people are still too comfortable and afraid. (this incongruent state sometimes requires large infusions of shopping, gambling, tv, fill in the blank distraction, or even drugs to maintain.)
our representatives need to hear loud and clear from an increasing number of us. we will be sorting out the "D's" (DINOS, listen up.)
we will insist on representation and demand our democratic values drive further legislation. greedy, mean, undemocratic, feudal corporate rule brought to us by small group of elite "R's" must end!!!!!!
speak without offending, listen without defending .
kick ass and send the bullies("R's") running with their tails between their legs.
The New Apollo Energy Project
9 June 2005
Inslee Introduces New Apollo Energy Act:U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee and fourteen other Members of Congress today introduced the New Apollo Energy Act (H.R. 2828) as a comprehensive clean energy policy for the 21st century. ... (more)
A Comprehensive Clean Energy Plan to Address Jobs, National Security and Climate Change
New Apollo Energy Act Original Cosponsors in Congress:
Jay Inslee (WA)
Rush Holt (NJ)
Chris Van Hollen (MD)
Steve Israel (NY)
Mike Honda (CA)
Jim McDermott (WA)
Rick Larsen (WA)
Jesse Jackson, Jr. (IL)
Jan Schakowsky (IL)
James Langevin (RI)
Raul Grijalva (AZ)
Rahm Emanuel (IL)
Tammy Baldwin (WI)
George Miller (CA)
Adam Smith (WA)
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
And I'll add another example of why we should help Rick Larsen (D) WA-02 get re-elected:
This Saturday, July 15, Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich arrives in Everett to speak at a fundraising luncheon for Doug Roulstone.
NEWT GINGRICH for DOUG ROULSTONE
Everett Events Center
2000 Hewitt Ave Suite 200 Everett, WA
at 11:30 AM
Yes, That's THE NEWT GINGRICH;
the face of the Republican Contract on America,
and disgraced Former Speaker of the House!
I think the choice is clear. Rick Larsen voted against invading Iraq. Rick may not always vote the way I'd like, but he makes way more good votes than bad. If you look at what he's done since he's been in Congress, you'll see that he has consistently worked to bring home the bacon for the 2nd CD. And he will listen to his constituents, even crusty old Progressives like me. [Yeah, that's me (citizensteve) standing next to Congressman Larsen at his campaign kick-off in Bellingham.]
.......Rape. The latest of American atrocities. Though it's not really the latest- it's just the one that's being publicized the most. The poor girl Abeer was neither the first to be raped by American troops, nor will she be the last. The only reason this rape was brought to light and publicized is that her whole
immediate family were killed along with her. Rape is a taboo subject in Iraq. Families don't report rapes here, they avenge them. We've been hearing whisperings about rapes in American-controlled prisons and during sieges of towns like Haditha and Samarra for the last three years. The naiveté of
Americans who can't believe their 'heroes' are committing such atrocities is ridiculous. Who ever heard of an occupying army committing rape??? You raped the country, why not the people?In the news they're estimating her age to be around 24, but Iraqis from the area say she was only 14. Fourteen. Imagine your 14-year-old sister or your 14-year-old daughter. Imagine her being gang-raped by a group of psychopaths and then the girl was killed and her body burned to cover up the rape. Finally, her parents and her five-year-old sister were also killed. Hail
the American heroes... Raise your heads high supporters of the 'liberation' - your troops have made you proud today. I don't believe the troops should be tried in American courts. I believe they should be handed over to the people in the area and only then will justice be properly served. And our ass of a PM,
Nouri Al-Maliki, is requesting an 'independent investigation', ensconced safely in his American guarded compound because it wasn't his daughter or sister who was raped, probably tortured and killed. His family is abroad safe from the hands of furious Iraqis and psychotic American troops.It fills me with rage to
hear about it and read about it. The pity I once had for foreign troops in Iraq is gone. It's been eradicated by the atrocities in Abu Ghraib, the deaths in Haditha and the latest news of rapes and killings. I look at them in their armored vehicles and to be honest- I can't bring myself to care whether they are 19 or 39. I can't bring myself to care if they make it back home alive. I can't bring myself to care anymore about the wife or parents orchildren they left behind. I can't bring myself to care because it's difficult to see beyond the horrors. I look at them and wonder just how many innocents they killed and how many more they'll kill before they go home. How many more young Iraqi girls will they rape?Why don't the Americans just go home? They've done enough damage and we hear talk of how things will fall apart in Iraq if they 'cut and run', but the fact is that they aren't doing anything right now. How much worse can it get? People are being killed in the streets and in their own homes- what's being done about it? Nothing. It's convenient for them- Iraqis can kill each other and they can sit by and watch the bloodshed- unless they want to join in with murder and rape.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
UPDATE: Cantwell and Wilson just appeared together at Cantwell's Lake Union campaign headquarters. Wilson read a statement similar to what he sent his supporters.
He will be paid by the campaign for outreach to liberals and what Wilson called "the peace and justice community." He wouldn't say how much he'll be paid.
If you were wondering, as I have, how they would explain the path Wilson took from Cantwell's No. 1 anti-war critic to a member of her campaign staff, they chose not to. ...(more)
And so we bid ado to the candidacy of LiberGreenicrat Mark Wilson.
I turned out to hear Mark speak when he came up to Whatcom County a couple of months ago. He seemed like a nice enough guy, but not an impressive candidate. What he had that grabbed some peoples support was his willingness to step forward and be the anti-occupation/(anti-war), anti-NAFTA/(anti-globalization) candidate.
Since Cantwell hasn't changed her New-Democrat pro-Globalization, pro-Military-Might stance, by joining Cantwell's campaign Mark has tacitly moved to her politics. Although he'll be getting paid for "outreach to liberals", it's very hard to see who he'll be able to reach. It really was the message, not the man.
But don't get me wrong, I was always going to vote for Maria because she does have a good record in some important areas and the alternative is just too McGhastly.
Friday, July 07, 2006
heard on the majority report friday 7/7 Jon Elliott filling in.
Like PNAC, which warned of the present danger in its founding documents, the Progressive Policy Institute declared that "America is threatened once again" and needs assertive individuals committed to strong leadership. Its observation--"like the cold war, the struggle we face today is likely to last not years but decades"--mirrors both neoconservative and Bush administration national security assessments. In its words, PPI endorsed the invasion of Iraq, "because the previous policy of containment was failing," and Saddam Hussein's government was "undermining both collective security and international
Thursday, July 06, 2006
POLITICSlil' Capt. Doug is trying out the same theme as Mike McSafeCo... Try to take credit for the good works of others and ask voters to 'Elect a Republican to fix the things Republicans have broken'.
THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
The secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will be in Bellingham Thursday as part of a campaign stop for a Republican candidate in the state’s 2nd Congressional District. R. James Nicholson will discuss issues facing veterans and take questions from the audience during the event at the American Legion Post No. 7, 1688 W. Bakerview Road.
Nicholson’s visit is coordinated by the campaign of former U.S. Navy Capt. Doug Roulstone, who is running against U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen this fall.
The event, beginning at 2:30 p.m., is open to the public.
In this case it's Veterans health care.
"The Republican budget for Fiscal Year 2007 cuts veterans’ funding by $8.6 billion below what is needed to maintain current services over the next five years. Congress must provide high-quality, accessible health-care and support services to those who have fought for our country."The (Republican) Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs isn't showing up in Whatcom County because over 75,000 veterans live in the 2nd Congressional District and badly need a Community Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC).
... FY2007 budget will raise health care costs for over 1 million U.S. veterans by increasing their co-payments for prescription drugs from $8 to $15 and imposing a new $250 annual enrollment fee. These fees will drive at least 200,000 veterans out of the veterans’ health care coverage they were promised.
"The budget also proposes to increase health care costs for military retirees enrolled in the TRICARE benefit program by raising enrollment fees and deductibles, and increasing pharmacy co-payments.
If a VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic does get approved it will be thanks to the work of Congressman Rick Larsen (D).
Saturday, June 3, 2006
Veterans closer to getting clinic in area
Application must clear at least two more steps
MARY LANE GALLAGHER
THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
Veterans living in Whatcom County finally may be getting a medical clinic closer to home.
It's still a long way from happening, but the Department of Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System has applied to build an outpatient clinic in the northern Puget Sound area.
It's not known where the clinic would be or when it would be built, and it still must go through at least two more steps in the approval process, said U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, who met Friday with regional VA officials. ... (article)
Monday, July 03, 2006
20-year-old Iraq weapons spark debateAnd when he travels it's not to play golf in Scotland.
In House hearing, lawmakers argue over whether they are WMD and justify war
Walter Pincus, Washington Post
Saturday, July 1, 2006
(07-01) 04:00 PDT Washington -- Do the 20-year-old Iraqi chemical munitions found by U.S. and coalition forces support the prewar contention that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and justify the invasion of Iraq?
That question divided Republicans and Democrats again this week, this time at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee on the estimated 500 rockets and artillery shells containing degraded mustard gas or sarin nerve agent. ...
... Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Wash., recalled the administration's prewar rhetoric, including a remark by then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice that "we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud," that helped push Congress' October 2002 vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq.
That kind of language, Larsen said, "always has seemed to be much bigger than the facts that we end up reviewing in retrospect."
The smoking gun and mushroom cloud image, he said, "sounds a lot better than 500 artillery shells of various amounts of degraded material that fit the technical definition of chemical weapons ... buried in various bunkers in various states of disrepair that we are not even sure Saddam Hussein knew about." (full article)
U.S. Congress majority leader John Boehner, center, speaks beside deputy speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Khalid al-Attiyah, third left, during a news conference with other visiting U.S. Representatives at the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad, Monday July 3, 2006. U.S. Representatives, left to right, Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan, Rick Larsen of Washington, Khalid al-Attiyah, majority leader John Boehner, Devin Nunes of California, Jim Saxton of New Jersey, and Jim Ryun of Kansas. (AP Photo/Ceerwan Aziz, Pool) (Ceerwan Aziz - AP)
Iraq improving, Larsen says after trip to war-torn nation
THE BELLINGHAM HERALD
While Iraq remains violent three years after the United States invaded the country, security continues to improve, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen said after a trip to the nation.
Speaking in a telephone conference from Rota, Spain, this morning, Larsen said though his last trip was a "180 degree" turn from a previous one just after the fall of Saddam Hussein, things are improving.
"I can see progress being made compared to the second trip I had," said Larsen, D-Lake Stevens. "There continues to be progress but there is still a long way to go."
Larsen was the sole Democrat on a surprise congressional delegation organized by House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. The leaders flew to Jordan Saturday, seeing a joint operation to train Iraqi police officers. ... (full article)
Sunday, July 02, 2006
War on terror ruling worries GOP lawmakers
Article 3 mandates standards of treatment in cases of armed conflicts not of an international character in the territory of a contracting party, which Afghanistan is.
Article 3 prohibits outrages upon personal dignity, "in particular humiliating and degrading treatment," and bars violence, including murder, mutilation and torture.
"I don't think we're going to pass something that's going to have our military servicemen subject to some kind of international rules," said McConnell (R-Ky).
The Geneva Convention's Article 3 is "far beyond our domestic law when it comes to terrorism, and Congress can rein it in, and I think we should," said Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C.McConnell R-Ky and Graham R-S.C want to legalize humiliating and degrading treatment, murder, mutilation and torture. It would appear they don't care that it would mean our troops would be legally subject to the same if they were captured. Pea-brains like this pair are an embarrassment to the United States.
Obviously for these